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Workshops, Webinars and Virtual Tours: A Round-up of Unmissable Events & At Home with 4 Indies

Book Launch: Deformations by Sasha Dugdale

Wednesday 22 July @ 7pm

Join award-winning poet Sasha Dugdale ahead of the launch of her new poetry collection Deformations. Registration for the event costs £2 and is redeemable against the purchase of the book. 

Book Lovers Literary History of Amsterdam

Thursday 23 July

Mary Solbiechowski will be taking viewers on a virtual tour of Amsterdam’s top literary locations, such as libraries, book markets and landmarks that influenced and inspired Amsterdam’s rich literary history. The presentation will take place on Zoom and tickets can be found here.

Afternoon Tea with Rachel Joyce

Thursday 23 July @ 4pm

What’s better than a virtual book event? A virtual book event with afternoon tea! At Home with 4 Indies join bestselling author Rachel Joyce to celebrate the launch of her latest book Miss Benson’s Beetle. Registration costs £20 via BookGig and includes a special dedicated and signed copy of the book. Turn over to the next page for our full feature on the At Home with 4 Indies programme of events. 

Northern Powerhouse Focused Events:

Aulò: Ribka Sibhatu and André Naffis-Sahely in Conversation

Thursday 23 July @ 7pm

Poet Ribka Sibhatu and translator André Naffis-Sahely read from Aulò: Selected Poems and Fables. Wider discussion includes translation and the Eritrean oral poetic tradition. Registration via Eventbrite.

Rishi Dastidar: Saffron Jack

Thursday 23 July 2020 @ 12pm 

Join poet Rishi Dastidar for this free Facebook event where he reads from his new collection Saffron Jack. A moving collection of poems which draw on themes of identity, belonging, migration, empires and war.

Spoken Word Night: House of Weeds

Friday 24 July 2020 @ 8pm

Don’t miss this spoken word event hosted by Fly on the Wall Press. A range of performers read from the poetry and illustration book House of Weeds by Amy Kean and Jack Wallington.

Typographics Festival 2020

Friday 24 – Sunday 26 July

For its sixth year, the Typographics Festival will be going online to host its annual conference on contemporary typography. The main event features a brilliant line-up of lectures, interactive workshops and an online book fair. Register for your place here.

How to Write a Book During COVID-19

Saturday 25 July

If you are an aspiring writer, check out Authentic Worth’s online masterclass which explores the crucial steps in writing a book during the pandemic and the key skills needed to get your book published. Tickets can be purchased here.

Free Comic Book Writing Workshop with Zain Dada

Saturday 25 July @ 12pm

Fancy trying your hand at something new during lockdown? Register for a place at a virtual comic book writing workshop hosted over Zoom with writer Zain Dada. Zain’s previous work has included self-publishing illustrated comics, along with co-founding the Khidr Collective Zine, a zine created to act as a platform to showcase the creative work of British Muslims. Since co-founding the zine, Zain has been involved in setting up the Khidr Comix Lab, intended to offer a space for Black, Brown and Muslim creative writers to experiment with storytelling within the comix form. You can register for your space at the workshop here or find out more about the initiative over at their Twitter account, @khidrcollective.

Make Your Own Chapbook: Digital Typesetting with Faride Mereb

Wednesday 29 July

This two-day class teaches students the basics of typesetting and text treatment for poetic compositions in InDesign. The classes will help participants gain an understanding on the relationship between point sizes, paper sizes and formats. Tickets can be purchased here.

From Papyrus to the Web: Why Books are More Important Than Ever

Thursday 30 July

Join academic publisher Elsevier for a webinar offering a unique insight into the process behind producing a great academic book. The webinar will be presented by two experienced book publishers from the company, Stacy Masucci, Publisher for Translational Medicine at Elsevier, and Christina Gifford, an Acquisitions Editor with the Materials Science and Engineering team. The talk will be structured into four main sections, covering topics such as content acquisition strategy, the elements of professional publishing and the publishing cycle along with the value of book and journal synergy in STEM. Following the talk, there will be the opportunity to participate in a Q&A with both of the speakers. Register for your place via Eventbrite here.

Poetry Reading by Imtiaz Dharker

Thursday 30 July @ 9am

Bringing a close to the Inside Writing festival (a digital poetry festival taking place instead of the annual Newcastle Poetry Festival), Imtiaz Dharker reads from her poem written in response to Covid-19 and lockdown.  

At Home with 4 Indies: The Events Programme Leading the Way

At Home with 4 Indies is the virtual events programme taking the book world by storm with its constantly updated running line-up of literary events hosted over Facebook Live. It first came about as a collaboration between the ‘4 indies’ – Forum Books, Booka Bookshop, Linghams Booksellers and Book-ish. Their live events have proved a popular opportunity for authors to continue to connect with their readers within a virtual setting through recent events. These include book launches, author talks, Q&As and events for younger readers.

Interaction and connection are essential during times of social isolation. This collaboration between the four bookshops has put a spotlight on the importance of indies; it shows how vital it is for readers to support them, particularly in times as difficult as these. Independent bookshops have shown amazing commitment, bringing exciting and engaging literary events to new audiences wherever they are.

The events team for The Publishing Post were recently lucky enough to talk with Carrie Morris from Booka Bookshop, one of the organisers of At Home with 4 Indies. She offered an insight into the impact that the events programme has had for the indies involved, as well as commenting on what may lie in store for the future of virtual events once social distancing begins to ease:

“I think online events will be with us for a long time yet and the potential to access a wider audience base has been a revelation. Previously each of us has hosted a regular programme of events in our own geographical area. Coming together as the ‘4 Indies’ has meant that we can open events up to people throughout the UK and indeed for an international audience. That in itself is incredibly exciting and impressive for four independents in regionally diverse areas of the UK. We are punching above and beyond our physical boundaries.

What it means for us and our customers is that we can host events with authors via our online platform, which we might never have had access to previously. Collaboration has made us stronger and our ‘At Home with’ brand has achieved a high profile in a short space of time. Online events are allowing us to grow our audiences. Distance is not a limiting factor.

We all know that Independent bookshops have bucked the trend of the declining High Street and many are seen as ‘destination retailers’. People will travel miles to visit their favourite indie bookshop or one recommended to them. As independent bookshops we are all passionate about the High Street and the physical space that we inhabit. Experiential bookselling has always been ‘raison d’etre’ and our point of difference e.g. ‘a book buying experience that can’t be replicated online.’

However, during lockdown we weren’t able to operate in the same way and our trademark bookselling had to adapt. The ‘At Home with 4 Indies’ platform means we can still connect our bookshops to audiences, we can still provide an event experience and we can do this safely from the comfort of people’s homes. Technology has enabled us to think bigger, to transcend the four walls of our bookshops.

Even when large gatherings are allowed again, there will still be opportunities and demand for online events. Mostly these will be for high profile events or events with authors who don’t reside in the UK. Online events will enable us to host virtual book clubs and allow us to reach readers who live further afield. We are future proofing what we do – becoming multi-channel booksellers and adding another string to our bow.”

Upcoming Events Brought to You by At Home with 4 Indies

An Evening with Jojo Moyes, 29 July, 7.30pm

Settle into an evening of listening to bestselling Me Before You author Jojo Moyes talking about her brand new book, The Giver of Stars. The event will be taking place online over Zoom with tickets costing £15 each, the price of which includes a paperback copy of The Giver of Stars delivered straight to your door. If you are lucky enough to be one of the first 200 people to register for the event you will receive a signed copy of the book. Book your place here.

A Virtual Evening with Lemn Sissay, 28 July, 7.30pm

Join the 4 Indies and award-winning poet and author Lemn Sissay as they chat in conversation about his bestselling memoir My Name is Why. Lemn Sissay’s powerful memoir retells the story of his childhood and of his hope and determination. It explores issues including the institutional care system, race, family and the definition of home along the way. Tickets for the virtual event cost £15, including a copy of the book delivered to your address, the first 300 copies of which will be signed by the author. Book your place here.

Support the 4 Indies

Forum Books: @ForumBooks

Booka Bookshop: @BookaBookshop

Linghams Booksellers: @LinghamsBooks

Book-ish: @Bookishcrick



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